I was doing some research and came across an article on McDonalds and thought to myself “When was the last time I ate there”? Thankfully I could not remember the last time I ate fast food at all. It seems like everywhere you go there is a McDonalds restaurant on the corner. Now they are in hospitals, colleges, airports, and even churches.
I remember watching a documentary Super Size Me and it was very interesting but sad of all the negative health effects that Morgan Spurlock developed just by eating fast food all those times, not to mention all the weight he gained as well. He put his health on the line just to educate and demonstrate how our bodies react to these foods. If you haven’t seen the documentary I highly recommend it.
Fast food costs are inexpensive and tastes very good, but the negative effects on physical health last much longer. With the high-calorie meals come more fat, cholesterol, salt and sugar — and therefore fewer vitamins, minerals and other nutrients — than in healthier foods. The USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans reports that these eating habits create nutritional deficiencies along with weight gain. The health problems that stem from overweight and obesity alone can severely limit lifestyles and shorten life spans.
Fast food can be the biggest contributer to obesity. Fast foods are loaded with fat and calories. Ordering without limits may have negative effects on your health and weight. Hamburgers with multiple patties, cheese, bacon and mayonnaise may exceed the 65mg fat limit recommended by the USDA for the whole day.
Many drive-through foods and drinks have high sugar content, including milkshakes, 62g of sugar, and colas, 44g, in 16-oz. servings as per the USDA. Fast foods contain high amounts of cholesterol and salt, two nutrients that contribute to cardiovascular health problems. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report a direct link between sodium intake and negative effects on blood pressure, and note that Americans consume most of their sodium in processed and restaurant foods.
What have fast food companies done to make things better?
Fast food companies are developing healthier options to meet the desires of healthier consumer needs.. Many fast food chains now offer healthy options including low-fat, low calorie foods; fresh foods; bottled water; and salads made with fruits and vegetables. Some stand-outs in fast food nutrition include low-fat salads and sandwiches and grilled chicken.
Other healthier options have been added to many fast food menus. Low-fat yogurt, fruit cups and wheat buns can replace some of the higher fat and lower fiber meal options. However, these healthy choices have the ability to take a wrong turn when mixed with unhealthy selections, such as fried chicken and high-fat dressing on the salads, cookies, candies or high-sugar granola mixed into the yogurt or whipped toppings on the fruit. Stick with the food in its most natural form to get the highest nutritional benefit from it.
Thanks for reading LJAY HEALTH
USDA: Dietary Guidelines for Americans
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Sodium Fact Sheet
USDA: Nutrient Database
AHA: Eating Fast Food
Office of the Surgeon General: Overweight Consequences